Peter Mattei in Billy Budd (from 2009), by Benjamin Britten.
I saw a similiar production of Billy Budd at Göteborgsoperan (the opera of Gothenburg, Sweden) on Saturday, starring Peter Mattei. And I was completely blown away by it! I went for Peter Mattei, because to me, he’s one of the best singers ever. He’s got the most beautiful, warm baritone, and he’s incredibly charismatic on stage (and seems to be a very nice person off stage too). Go to 5.10 and listen to Billy Budd’s aria before he’s about to be hanged, it’s seriously one the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard, lyrics, melody and voice working in perfect harmony. It made me cry.
Billy Budd was surprisingly accessible as an opera; it’s got such a strong and interesting story, like a morality on goodness and desire. The music is there to put emphasis on what happens, to give it life. I’d recommend this opera to people who don’t usually appreciate opera, in fact.
And I’d recommend watching/listening to Peter Mattei - any chance you get!